Costco Meat Prices (Aug 2023) + Best Value & Top Tips

Tomahawk Steak From Costco

Costco is the retailer known for the highest overall quality of meat & seafood. Their meat options are exceptional, and their prices are fantastic. They are the world’s largest retailer of USDA Choice and USDA Prime Steaks for a reason! 


This Costco Beef Guide will cover everything you need to know about their beef, including:

  • USDA Grades
  • Top Cuts
  • All Meat Prices
  • Picking the Best Costco Beef
  • Storing and Freezing Beef
  • Costco Business Center Meat Options
  • Halal Meat Options
  • Mechanically Tenderized Beef 

USDA Guide

What is the USDA?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the governing agency that oversees farming, forestry, and food. They evaluate beef on its quality and assign it a grade. Consumers use this grade to decipher the 

Processing plants voluntarily pay for an inspector to come out and grade their beef. Not all beef in the country goes through this process. The USDA grades 100% of the beef at Costco. 

USDA Grades

There are 8 grades in total, with Prime being the highest, then Choice, and then select. After Select, there is Standard and Commercial grade. 

And finally, the last 3 grades are utility, cutter, and canning. 


These last 3 grades won’t be available in grocery stores, but you can find this type of meat in products such as jerky or all beef polish sausages. 

The only type of meat that Costco sells will be USDA Choice or USDA Prime-graded beef. 

USDA Prime

The USDA grades beef on its tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. As consumers, we can see the grades through the amount of marbling the steak has. 

Prime-graded beef will always have the most marbling and produce the most tender and juicy eating experiences. Many hotels, steakhouses, and restaurants will purchase and serve Prime quality beef. 


Purchasing a Prime cut will allow you to cook a restaurant-quality steak at home. I reserve these steaks for a special occasion or get-together. 

USDA Choice

USDA Choice is a step below Prime but will still produce a delicious and juicy meal. The meat will still be very tender, which makes it an excellent option for everyday meals. Most Costco beef will be Choice grade. 

There still may be a good amount of marbling in USDA Choice Costco beef, and overall will be a high-quality beef. 


With a good eye, you can pick out cuts that barely miss the USDA Prime designation, securing “high choice” or near-prime Costco beef for the lower price of Choice graded beef.


Pro Tip: At Costco, meat in a white tray carton will usually be USDA Choice beef, and beef in the blue carton will usually be Prime grade.


Prime Grade meat does appear in the white carton every once in a while. 

Popular Costco Cuts

Costco Ribeye August 2023 Prices

Choice: $12.99/lb
Prime: $17.99/lb

What It Is

The Ribeye is an all-American steakhouse classic and a favorite of backyard grill masters all across the world. It deserves the first mention in our Costco beef guide. 

Its high degree of marbling gives the ribeye, which comes from the beef rib primal cut, its distinctive beef flavor. 


Prime ribeye is expensive, but has lots of the highly coveted milky white fat that melts into the meat, making it juicy, tender and buttery.

How to Cook

The best way to cook the rib eye is with high heat, either on a cast iron skillet or on the grill. 


While rare, you can sometimes find the ribeye cap at Costco! If you can find the cap, the most tender piece of the rib roast, Costco usually prices it the same as the ribeye. 


The ribeye cap may change the way you think about steak. 


Pro Tip: Ask the butchers if they can cut you the ribeye cap. You will not regret it.

Costco New York Strip Steak Prices & Info

Choice: $10.99/lb
Prime: $14.99/lb

What It Is

A steak of many names, most notably known as a New York Strip or a Kansas City Strip, I consider it a fantastic all-around steak.

New York steaks come from the strip loin portion of the cow, particularly the longissimus muscle. This muscle is a rarely used in the cow, leading to a tender and flavorful piece of meat.


How to Cook

The New York Strip is my go-to cut that provides the most value and flavor. Arguably, one of the best steaks for the grill and is very easy to cook because of its uniform thickness and marbling. 


These are best cooked on high heat, either on a grill or a skillet. These are also great in sous vide!

Costco Beef Tenderloin Prices & Info

Choice: $23.99/lb
Prime: $30.99/lb

What It Is

Regarded as the most tender cut of beef and one of the most expensive, the beef tenderloin lives up to its name.

The tenderloin comes from the psoas major muscle, which is rarely used in cows and results in a very tender piece of meat.

Low Marbling

A major difference between the tenderloin and some of the other high-end cuts of meat is its lack of marbling. The tenderloin is very lean but still full of flavor and will absolutely melt in your mouth.

Also, does great at soaking up marinades!

How to Buy Beef Tenderloin from Costco

If you want a tenderloin piece that is already processed and ready to be cooked, Costco sells “Peeled Extreme” Tenderloin. 

This is a piece of tenderloin that has the fat, connective tissue, and silver skin already removed. All you have to do is take the meat home and cook a delicious meal.

Costco also sells whole beef tenderloin “unpeeled” or untrimmed in the beef section but often will need to be requested from the butcher. 

The price savings for an unpeeled portion can be 30% or more but will require some at-home butchering.

Costco Filet Mignon

Choice: $17.99/lb
Prime: $22.99/lb

What It Is

Filet Mignon is a steak cut from the ever so tender beef tenderloin. Many consider filet mignon as the most tender and desirable cut of beef. 

Costco sells their USDA Prime filet mignon for $22.99 per pound. 

kirkland signature usda choice beef loin tenderloin steak filet mignon

Cut From The Tenderloin

Filet mignon comes from the tenderloin, so it’s lean with little marbling but extra tender and flavorful. 

Costco Filet Mignon steaks 1.5-2 inches thick. They have little intramuscular fat; so it is imperative to not overcook the beef as it could cause it to dry out. 

Filet Mignon is best served medium rare.

How to Cook

Despite being a prized cut of beef, Filet Mignon offers versatility in its cooking methods. 

To achieve the perfect Filet Mignon at medium rare, you can use a grill, an oven, a skillet, or sous vide bath. 

If you can keep the internal temperatures in check, your filet mignon will turn out beautifully.

Costco Chuck Roast

Choice: $4.99/lb

What It Is

With rising beef prices at Costco and across the nation, chuck roasts are quickly becoming my new favorite cut. A chuck roast is a tough, heavily marbled, and connective tissue-dense cut of meat that comes from the shoulder region of the cow. 

How to Cook

Chuck roasts are great in pot roasts and are best when braised. A chuck roast will be fork tender when cooked low and slow and will melt in your mouth. 

A chuck roast will not be the type of cut that you are going to want to grill and instead is best in the crockpot, instant pot, or oven. 

Costco Top Sirloin

Choice: $7.99/lb
Prime: $9.49/lb

What It Is

Sirloin is probably one of the more well-known steak names, but what exactly is the Sirloin? The Sirloin refers to a subprimal cut near the rear of the cow.  

Costco breaks down the sirloin into two cuts, the Top Sirloin and the Bottom Sirloin.

The Top Sirloin

Butchers consider the top sirloin as the higher quality cut of Sirloin. Top Sirloin doesn’t have much marbling but is still incredibly tender. They make for great grilling steaks. 

They can sell top Sirloin with the “Cap” On or Off. In regards to beef, the cap is a large thick piece of fat that resides on top of the steak. Costco sells both the Cap Off steaks and the Cap On Roast (Picanha).

Costco Picanha AKA Top Sirloin Roast With Cap On

Choice: $6.99/lb

What It Is

Picanha is a cut that has gained significant popularity in the US recently, even though it has always been the most prized cut in Brazilian steakhouses. Costco sells Picanha, which is a Top Sirloin Roast with Cap On. 

Picanha is easy to cook and provides a ton of flavor while reasonably priced. Costco sells their Picanha for $6.99 a pound.

How To Cook

Picanha is usually served as steaks and can be cut before or after cooking. 

Brazilian steakhouses cut, skewer, and grill the picanha for maximum flavor, but there are many ways to cook picanha or cap on top Sirloin. You can grill, smoke, sous vide, oven-bake, or even pan-sear picanha.

Costco Tri-Tip

Choice: $8.99/lb
Prime: $10.99/lb

What It Is

The Tri-Tip, a classic California steak, is available at Costco for $8.99 a pound for Choice grade and $10.99 a pound for Prime. Tri-Tip Steak is a triangular cut of beef that comes from the sirloin region of the cow.

Costco tri-tip has a rich, meaty flavor and is extremely tender if cooked properly. 


How To Cook

You can cook Tri-Tips in multiple ways, including grilling, smoking, baking or roasting, and they take on a lot of seasoning and flavor. For me, there’s just something about grilling tri-tips that screams summer. It’s a great piece of steak to grill, serve, and slice for backyard BBQs.

Pro Tip: Always slice against the grain with Tri-Tip. It can be tricky.

Costco Short Ribs

Choice: $8.99/lb

The price of USDA Choice short rib at Costco fluctuates between $7.49 per pound and $8.99 per pound. Costco will sell both the English Cut (more traditional) and the Flanken Cut (my favorite). 

English Cut

Short Ribs are an extremely flavorful cut of beef and one of my favorites from Costco. 

English-cut short ribs are fantastic when braised, creating a very tender and juicy piece of meat.

Flanken Cut

The butcher cuts Flanken short ribs against the bone, making them about 1/2 inch thick. Each piece will usually have 3 or 4 pieces of bone surrounded by tender short-rib meat.

Flanken short ribs are best used to make Korean BBQ Galbi.


Flanken Cut Short Ribs marinate and absorb flavors very well, and are best when cooked with high heat. 


Here is an excellent DIY marinade to make your own Korean Galbi.


Costco Beef Back Ribs

Choice: $4.99/lb

What It Is

Most people think of Costco Beef Back Ribs when they think of traditional ribs. The beef ribs look very similar to pork ribs, except they are a little larger. 

They cut beef back ribs come from the same area where prime rib and ribeye are from, both a positive and negative.


If cooked appropriately, beef ribs can be super tender, but they may also have less meat as than you would expect as butchers often prioritize the meat for the more expensive cuts. 

At just $4.29 per pound at Costco, beef ribs offer exceptional taste and flavor at a very fair price.

How To Cook

Smoking is the best way to prepare Beef Back Ribs, but they are also delicious when grilled, baked, or pressure cooked.

Costco Brisket - Pricing

Prime: $4.29

Costco Brisket Price Per Pound

One of the best deals might be the Costco Prime Beef Brisket, which sells for $4.29/pound. This cost of brisket at Costco fluctuates throughout the year, but typically hangs out around the $3.99 range and will occasionally fall to as low as $2.99 during the fall. 

How Much Is Brisket at Costco?

Costco sells Prime grade brisket whole and in 10-15 pound packages. The average purchase price for a brisket runs about $40-$60, depending on size. 

I don’t have the biggest smoker, so I like to pick up the smallest USDA Prime Costco brisket in the $40 range. 

What It Is

A whole brisket comprises the flat and the point portion. The flat is the more lean portion of the brisket, while the point is considerably fattier. Costco primarily sells the whole prime packer style briskets.

By being sold whole, the prime beef brisket from Costco is usually considerably cheaper than the grocery store’s Choice grade brisket.

How to Cook

Briskets are perfect for barbecuing because they become super tender and delicious when cooked low and slow.

Briskets can take up to 15 hours to cook when slow-smoked at 225°-250°F, but they are oh-so worth it. 

Tomahawk Steak at Costco (Ribeye)

Prime: $14.99

What It Is

Without a doubt, one of the most impressive-looking steaks that Costco carries is the Tomahawk steak.


Because of its intense marbling and long bone handle, the Tomahawk steak is a fun and unique cut. 


While Costco does not offer them regularly, when they are available, they sell out quickly.

Likely, if you see tomahawk steaks on one Costco trip, you won’t see them on the next one.

How to Cook It

Tomahawk Steaks are best served medium rare and can be cooked in various ways. For a big steak like this, I used a sous vide at 137° to get a perfectly pink interior.

You can also cook the steak on a grill, on a cast iron skillet, or even in an oven.


Is a Tomahawk Steak Worth it?

A tomahawk steak is essentially a huge bone-in ribeye, but for such a fancy cut, Costco’s price is more than reasonable at $14.99/pound for Prime grade Tomahawk steak. 

Just one thing to remember is that you are paying for the bone. If the presentation isn’t essential, go with Costco ribeye for the same price per pound.

Costco Wagyu Beef


Wagyu Beef at Costco

Costco occasionally sells Wagyu beef in the meat and seafood department, but lately, I’ve only seen frozen wagyu beef at Costco. 

The Costco Imported Grade A5 Wagyu Beef New York Strip comes from Japan, costs $99.99/lb, and is grain fed with no added hormones. A Grade of A5 is the highest grade of Japanese wagyu.

They typically sell the New York Strip Wagyu Beef package in ~1.5-2 pound packages and will cost between $150-$200 in total. Although it comes with a hefty price tag, people consider Wagyu beef as one of the best in the world. 

Known for its marbling, Costco wagyu beef boasts abundant intramuscular fat, which packs in the flavor and keeps the meat super tender.

How to Cook Wagyu Beef

Wagyu beef is best cooked from rare to medium rare, and it’s imperative to not overcook the steak. Overcooking wagyu can lead to the fat melting and the flavor dissipating.  

Wagyu beef takes just a few minutes on a hot skillet for each side.

Costco Prime Rib Prices - Standing Rib Roast

Choice: $13.89
Prime: $20.99

Prime Rib At Costco

Prime Rib, a Christmas-time favorite, sells at Costco under the name standing rib roast. The beef rib primal cut produces Prime Rib which has a large “eye” of meat. It is juicy, tender, beefy, and extremely flavorful. 

Costco sells prime rib or standing rib roasts in approximately 6-8 packages and depending on the grade and size you select will cost between $100 and $150+. 


Is Costco Prime Rib Worth it?

If you are looking for that special meal to serve at a dinner or get-together, then look no further than the standing rib roast at Costco. Prime Rib is the ultimate Costco meat for special occasions. 

Costco prime rib will cost in the $150+ range, and if that is in your budget, then yes, it is worth it. The meat is top quality, and the prices are fantastic compared to other retailers.

You may find lower quality prime rib roasts for less at other retailers and higher quality, more expensive prime rib at your local butcher. Costco offers extreme value and a delicate balance of high quality prime rib for a fair price.  

Don't Forget Your Prime Rib Seasoning

Costco Ground Beef Prices

$3.99/lb – Fresh Ground Beef
$4.97/lb – Organic Ground Beef

Ground Beef Options at Costco

Costco has a few different ground beef options throughout the warehouse. Their meat and seafood department sells fresh ground beef (88% lean and 12% fat) for $3.99/pound and organic ground beef (85/15) for $4.97/lb. 

20220423 234050

Costco sells fresh ground beef in approximately ~7-pound packages, while they sell the organic ground beef in 4-pound packages and cost $19.89.

Frozen Ground Beef

Costco also offers 5 individually wrapped one-pound chubs of frozen ground beef in the frozen food aisles.

The frozen ground beef is 91% lean and 9% fat and sells for $21.99 or $4.39 per pound. This is an excellent price for lean ground beef!

Using Ground Beef

Of course, we can use ground beef in various ways, including as meatballs, hamburgers, meatloaf, and many more. 


My issue with Costco’s ground beef selection is that they don’t offer an 80% lean, 20% fat variety. 80/20 is the consensus choice for the best ground beef ratio to make juicy, flavorful hamburgers.

All Costco Beef Prices - Aug 2023

USDA Choice BeefPrice
Tenderloin Steak (Filet Mignon)$17.99
New York Strip $10.99
Short Rib8.99
Chuck Roast$4.99
Beef Ribs4.29
Top Round5.49
Stew Meat4.49
Ground Beef 88% Lean$3.99
Eye Round Roast$4.19
Top Sirloin$7.99
Flank Steak$8.99
Beef Loin Tip Steak (Flap Meat)$10.99
Prime Rib (Standing Rib Roast)$13.99
USDA Prime BeefPrice
Tenderloin Steak (Filet Mignon)$22.99
Tenderloin Whole34.99
New York Strip Steak$14.99
Top Sirloin$9.99
Prime Rib (Standing Rib Roast)$20.99

Picking out the best steak

Costco Beef Sets the Standard High

At Costco, you can be confident that the quality of beef will meet a minimum standard higher than what you find at your typical grocery store. 

Most grocers offer USDA Select beef, with USDA Choice being the higher-end option they carry. Costco’s minimum grade is USDA Choice, with USDA Prime being the higher-end option.

Great Prices and Quality

Although Costco beef prices are on par or even slightly more, the quality and freshness of the meat at Costco will be unmatched compared to your local grocer. 

While you can’t go wrong with any steak, you pick out from Costco; I have some tips for picking out the best of the best steaks. 

Look for Marbling

The lowest-graded Costco meat will be USDA choice, but we can still be selective when picking out steaks. The first thing we are going to want to look for is marbling. 


We want to see as much milky white fat inside the meat as possible. Fat is flavor, and when cooked, the marbling will melt into the meat, improving its juiciness, tenderness, and texture. We will look for as much marbling as possible for most steaks.


Note: Marbling differs from typical intramuscular meat fat that can run through the steak or that which sits outside the steak.

Light Cherry Pink Color

The second criterion used to select steak will be its color. The ideal steak will be uniform in color and have a light cherry-pink hue. 

If it’s too dark of a red or brown color, we should avoid those pieces if we can. 


If steaks are exposed to oxygen for too long, they will turn brown in color. While still safe to eat, we are always looking to buy the freshest Costco meats. 

Picking a Juicy Costco Steak

Finally, the steak should look like it has a touch of moisture. We want to see that “just right” moisture. 

We don’t want the Costco steak to be too dry, nor do we want the steak to appear wet, sticky, or slimy. 


If it looks dry, it could be a sign that the steak is dry and juiceless. If it’s too wet or slimy, it could indicate that the steak is past its freshness. 

Highly unlikely you would see a steak like this at Costco, but for educational purposes, we should avoid beef with a sheen or a layer of slime.

Freezing Steak - Mid Term Storage

How to Prepare Steak for the Freezer

Regardless if you are buying some Costco steaks for dinner or a full sub-primal cut, it’s typical to cook some and then freeze the rest. 

To properly freeze the Costco beef, you will want to wrap it in saran wrap as tightly as possible. 

This will reduce contact with air and preserve freshness. After wrapping it with saran wrap, you can store the beef in a Ziploc bag. 

Be sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible and label and date the bag.

Costco Business Center

Different Beef Options than Regular Costco

The business center is an entirely different beast regarding the meat section at Costco. At the business center, you will find more sub-primal cuts rather than individual steaks. 

This is a great way to pick up cuts you may not be totally familiar with and can allow you to explore and get to know new pieces of beef. 

Big Discounts at the Business Center

My first experience with a sub-primal cut came from a clearance on a whole top loin. 

I usually just walk right on past the larger cuts without a second glance, thinking I didn’t have the knowledge, nor could I possibly utilize that much meat. 

$56 for 11.41 Pounds of New York Strip

This time, instead of having the whole top loin in the back with the rest of the meat, they had it all at the entrance to the business center. This was out of place, and it really drew my attention. 

The packaging said Whole New York on it, and with a little in-store research, I realized this was a significant discount on New York Strip Steaks. All I had to do with this beef piece was slice it into steak portions.

Breaking Down Meat is a Great Skill to Learn

I picked up a USDA choice top loin whole for $4.97/lb, which was about half off then. Definitely, a great beginner introduction to subprimal cuts as I simply had to slice the piece into 1.5” steaks. 

I ended up with 13 New York steaks for about $4 apiece. 

Please Excuse the Thumb Hole Punch

From there, my eyes were opened to the beauty of subprimal cuts available at the business center. I pick one up whenever I have freezer space, and it’s a great experience to learn how to break down my own meat. 

Business Center Costcos Will Have Lower Quality Beef

The meat quality at the Costco business center will range from Select to Prime, while at traditional Costco warehouses, the meat ranges from Choice to Prime.

Costco Halal Beef

What is Halal Beef?

Halal is the Arabic word for “permissible” and refers to specific guidelines to be followed when slaughtering an animal. 

These guidelines are strict and pertain to the ethical treatment of the animal and religious practices. 

Costco Business Center Has Halal Options

Traditional Costco warehouses don’t usually offer halal meat or beef, but Costco Business Centers have them available. If your regular Costco carries duck, it may be a halal duck, but other than that, most Costcos do not have halal products. 

Costco business centers will carry a limited amount of halal products; some halal items I have seen in the past are ground beef, a variety of beef cuts, lamb, and goat.

Mechanically/Blade Tenderized

Costco Steaks are Blade Tenderized

One of the major controversies surrounding Costco meat is that they blade tenderize their steaks. 

Costco’s process for tenderizing beef involves piercing each piece of cut steak with tiny blades or needles to break up connective tissue and muscle fibers. 

It sounds great in theory and does in fact, make the meat more tender, but it comes with an alleged drawback.

Blade marks are easy to see in the fat

Dangers of Mechanically Tenderized Beef from Costco

Mechanically or blade-tenderized beef could lead to some dangers concerning E. Coli. The blade tenderizing process can transfer E Coli found on the meat’s surface to deep within the center of the meat. 

This means to fully ensure that your piece of beef is safe to eat, cook it to an internal temperature of 160° as recommended on the Costco package. 

Most people, including us here at Costco FDB, prefer beef at medium rare, which is 130°. By only cooking to medium rare, we are not fully killing any potential bacteria that could be in the meat. 

Risks are Low!

But don’t let me dissuade you from purchasing beef at Costco. It’s estimated that 2.7 billion pounds of meat, or 10% of beef consumed in America, is mechanically tenderized. The chances of contracting E. Coli remain astronomically low. Still, the warning must be put out there for Costco beef. 

Typically, we understand certain foods will always have bacteria risk, and this wouldn’t be an issue of concern to us here at CFDB, but Costco has the warning on their label. So we do think it’s fair to mention this in this guide. 

No WideSpread E Coli Outbreaks from Costco Beef

I have researched E Coli outbreaks over the years, and I couldn’t find anything that was mainly traced to steaks or blade-tenderized beef. 


Most of the outbreaks I found were involved lettuce or spinach; if they involved meat, then it was ground beef. Costco does not mechanically tenderize its ground beef. 


While there are reports that blade-tenderized beef can lead to E coli. It doesn’t appear to be widespread. Source

Sous Vide Kills Bacteria and Creates Perfect Steaks

If you want to play it extra safe, one alternative is to sous vide your Costco meat.

When we cook steaks on the grill or in a cast iron pan, we typically stop the cooking process once we reach the desired internal temperature. This means that a piece of steak may only be at a specific temperature for a few minutes. 

Now with a sous vide, we can keep our beef at a specific temperature for a prolonged period without compromising the meal’s deliciousness. If our desired temperature is medium rare at 130°, we can set our sous vide to cook at that temperature for 90 minutes or even longer.


We can kill bacteria at a lower temperature by keeping the cooking process going for an extended time. Look at the chart below, sourced from

TemperatureCook Time Needed to Kill Salmonella
130° F86.42 Minutes
135° F27.33 Minutes
140° F8.64 Minutes
145° F2.73 Minutes
150° F51.85 Minutes
160° F5.19 Seconds
165° F1.64 Seconds

As you can see, it only takes a few seconds to kill any bacteria at the Costco recommended 160°. Killing bacteria at 130° will take more than 86 minutes, but it will ensure perfectly safe and perfectly cooked medium rare beef.

While there may be a risk of E coli with mechanically tenderized Costco meat, the chances of any outbreak are minimal. If you are still concerned, you will have options to safely cook your beef using sous vide.

Updated April 3rd 2024

3 thoughts on “Costco Beef Guide – Everything You Need to Know”

  1. I said it before but need to say it again and again- THANK YOU for creating this site!!! Guides like this are so helpful and appreciated!

Comments are closed.